Unite Against Fascism (UAF) is an anti-fascist pressure group in the United Kingdom, with support from politicians of the three largest political parties in the House of Commons, including the former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and, when he was still alive, Labour politician Tony Benn. It describes itself as a national campaign with the aim of alerting British society to a perceived threat of fascism and the far right—in particular the British National Party (BNP)—gaining a foothold at local, national and European elections, arguing that "there is a real danger that the BNP could get a significant platform in elected institutions".
Its joint secretaries are Weyman Bennett and Sabby Dhalu, formerly of the National Assembly Against Racism (NAAR). Its chair is Steve Hart of the union Unite and its assistant secretary is Jude Woodward of Socialist Action.
Since 2013, UAF has mainly operated through the brand Stand Up To Racism, which has many of the same officers as UAF: Bennett and Dhalu as joint secretaries, Diane Abbott as president and co-chairs Dave Ward of the Communication Workers' Union and Talha Ahmad of the Muslim Council of Britain.
|Unite Against Fascism|
|Type||Anti-fascist pressure group|
|Headquarters||London, England, United Kingdom|
|Chair – Steve Hart, political officer, Unite|
Vice chair – Christine Blower, general secretary, NUT
Unite Against Fascism (UAF) was formed in Great Britain in late 2003 in response to electoral successes by the BNP. Its main elements were the Anti-Nazi League and the National Assembly Against Racism, with the support of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and leading British unions such as the Transport and General Workers' Union (T&G) (now Unite) and UNISON. According to Red Pepper magazine, UAF was set up by the Socialist Workers Party and the National Assembly Against Racism. Among the union leaders backing UAF, according to Weyman Bennett, were Billy Hayes Communication Workers Union, Andy Gilchrist and Mick Shaw of the Fire Brigades Union, Mark Serwotka of the PCS public service workers' union, and Christine Blower and Kevin Courtney of the NUT.
At UAF's 2007 national conference, speakers ranged from cabinet minister Peter Hain to Edie Friedman of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality and Muhammad Abdul Bari of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), as well as figures from the major UK trade unions. At UAF's 2009 national conference, Bari was again a guest speaker.
Unite Against Fascism states on its website that its aim is to deny the British National Party any chance of "gaining an electoral foothold" stating that "there is a real danger that the BNP could get a significant platform in elected institutions". It claims the support of organisations representing labour, teachers, and rights activists.
In November 2007, UAF organised a rally of over 1,000 people when BNP leader Nick Griffin and holocaust denier David Irving spoke at the Oxford Union. On 9 June 2009, UAF demonstrated against a BNP press conference given by Griffin and Andrew Brons outside the Palace of Westminster following their election as MEPs. Demonstrators marched towards the group with placards, chanting anti-Nazi slogans, and threw eggs at Griffin, forcing the abandonment of the press conference. Members of the press were also hit. The protesters also kicked Griffin's car and beat it with placards as he was led away from the scene. Two members of the public were hospitalised as a result of the demonstration. Griffin claimed that the attack was carried out with the backing of the Labour Party.
The following day, UAF demonstrated at the BNP's next attempt to hold a press conference at a pub in Miles Platting, North Manchester. They chanted anti-fascist slogans and tried to drown out Griffin by playing Bob Marley songs at high volume. One protester was arrested after spitting in the direction of a car belonging to a BNP member.
In January 2010, when the Pendle branch of the UAF removed a wreath from the War Memorial in Nelson that was laid down by Councillor Adam Grant, a former soldier and current British National Party member, Richard MacSween of the Pendle UAF said, "The BNP have left a wreath and we have removed it because we don't approve of fascism." In response, Councillor George Adam, from the Nelson and District branch of the Royal British Legion, said: "I'm annoyed – they have no right to remove that wreath. The BNP is a legitimate political party and they have a right to lay down a wreath just as any other members of the public do." BNP Councillor Brian Parker added: "It's disgusting, and it's theft."
On 19 August 2009, police arrested 19 protesters during a demonstration by UAF against the BNP's Red, White and Blue Festival in Codnor, Derbyshire. Four people were charged, three with public order offences and one with unlawfully obstructing the highway.
On 22 October 2009, the UAF demonstration against Nick Griffin's appearance on the BBC's Question Time programme resulted in injuries to three police officers. UAF national officer and (then) SWP National Secretary Martin Smith was found guilty of assaulting one of the police officers at South Western Magistrates' Court, London, on 7 September 2010. He was sentenced to a 12-month community order, with 80 hours' unpaid work, and was fined £450 pending an appeal.
On 20 March 2010, demonstrations from UAF and the English Defence League (EDL) in Bolton led to violent confrontations and the arrest of at least 55 UAF supporters, including the UAF protest organiser Weyman Bennett, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit violent disorder. At least three EDL supporters were also arrested, and two UAF members were taken to hospital with a minor head and a minor ear injury. After Bennett was charged and released, he accused the police of being hostile to anti-racists and called for an inquiry into the police's actions that day. The police, while criticising the EDL for "vitriolic name-calling" blamed people predominantly associated with UAF for provoking violence and said that they "acted with, at times, extreme violence". All charges against Weyman Bennett were eventually dropped. In response to this news he was quoted as saying: "This is a victory for anti-fascists and for the right to protest. I’m proud to say that the threat of these charges has not deterred any of us from continuing to stand up against the EDL. I can now continue my work without this serious false allegation hanging over me. It is imperative we continue to protest to protect our multi-racial communities."
On 30 August 2010, violence occurred in Brighton, East Sussex, during a UAF protest against a march organised by a group called the English Nationalist Alliance. A spokesman for the police, who were attempting to keep 250 protesters and marchers apart, said, "Unfortunately a small group from the counter-demonstration [UAF] resisted this and threw missiles at the police." There were fourteen arrests during the violence.
On 2 June 2013, 58 anti-fascist demonstrators were arrested by police under Section 14 of the Public Order Act for failing to move up the street away from a BNP demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament against what the BNP describe as Islamic "hate preachers". Of the 58, only five were charged and their cases were dismissed at Westminster Magistrates' Court in April 2014. The police had earlier banned the BNP from marching from Woolwich Barracks to the Houses of Parliament, fearing violence.
In 2006, David Tate argued that the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) was seeking to dominate the UAF, and a 2014 report in the New Statesman described it as a "front" for the SWP. The same criticism has been made of UAF's successor body Stand Up To Racism.
David Toube claims that the organisations involved in the UAF avoid condemnation of antisemitism. The LGBT rights activist Peter Tatchell has accused UAF of a selective approach to bigotry: "UAF commendably opposes the BNP and EDL but it is silent about Islamist fascists who promote anti-Semitism, homophobia, sexism and sectarian attacks on non-extremist Muslims. It is time the UAF campaigned against the Islamist far right as well as against the EDL and BNP far right."
The journalist Andrew Gilligan has claimed that the UAF's reluctance to tackle Islamism is that several of its own members are supporters of such extremism. The UAF's vice-chairman, Azad Ali, is also community affairs coordinator of the Islamic Forum of Europe, which Gilligan describes as "a Muslim supremacist group dedicated to changing 'the very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed from ignorance to Islam'". Nigel Copsey, Professor of Modern History at Teesside University, wrote that Ali's association with IFE made UAF "[run] the risk of turning a blind eye to Islamist extremism". Ali was suspended as a civil servant in the Treasury after he wrote approvingly on his blog of an Islamic militant who said that as a Muslim he is religiously obliged to kill British soldiers in Iraq, in 2009.
According to Gilligan, Michael Adebolajo, one of the murderers of Lee Rigby in 2013, spoke "on the margins" of a 2009 UAF demonstration in Harrow. Secretary Weyman Bennett responded by saying that Adebolajo was not an official speaker.
Anti-fascist group Unite Against Fascism (UAF) is one of a number of groups taking part in a "Unity" community event at the weekend to demonstrate the diversity of the city.
Alan Lake is the pseudonym used by Alan Ayling, a computer expert from Highgate, London. Until 2011 he was a director of Pacific Capital Investment Management. Ayling has been described by the media as a millionaire, and as the "chief financier" of the English Defence League (EDL), which Lake reportedly has "fiercely denied". He did admit to having "given some money to help some EDL things happen" in his first television interview, on Norwegian TV 2. According to EDL leader Tommy Robinson, Ayling has never been a member of the EDL, and the EDL has not received funding from him. Responding to media claims saying the opposite, Robinson said that "he [Ayling] spoke at two demos and he wore a suit, and all of a sudden he was a millionaire funder."Lake is considered a central figure in organising international anti-Islamist contacts. Lake spoke at a seminar on Islamisation in Malmö, Sweden, in 2009, organised by the Sweden Democrats. Lake has since said that he continues to maintain good relations with many of the party's members and that he is a good friend of MP Kent Ekeroth. He has considered that the state "might as well" execute Islamists who seek to impose sharia law in the UK, and according to The Guardian he has called for discussion about killing the Archbishop of Canterbury, Prime Minister David Cameron and deputy PM Nick Clegg for allegedly supporting sharia law for Britain. Ayling also founded the far-right "4 Freedoms" website.Lake rarely speaks with the press. According to Professor Nigel Copsey, Lake represents the more "respectable" intellectual wing of the EDL. In October 2011, Norwegian police formally investigated Lake to discover any potential ideological influence he may have had on mass murderer Anders Breivik. He was awarded 5,000 euros in damages by a Maltese court from Paul Adam Cinato for defamation of character after Cinato blogged that Lake was Breivik's mentor. In January 2012, after the true identity of "Alan Lake" was revealed, Ayling was suspended from his management post at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the City of London.Anti-Nazi League
The Anti-Nazi League (ANL) was an organisation set up in 1977 on the initiative of the Socialist Workers Party with sponsorship from some trade unions and the endorsement of a list of prominent people to oppose the rise of far-right groups in the United Kingdom. It was wound down in 1981. It was relaunched in 1992, but merged into Unite Against Fascism in 2003.Azad Ali
Azad Ali is a British Muslim activist and a spokesman for the Islamic Forum of Europe. He was founding chair of the Muslim Safety Forum, is Vice-Chair of Unite Against Fascism (UAF), and former director of engagement at Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND). He has also been employed as an IT worker and civil servant for the Treasury.Cambridgeshire Constabulary
Cambridgeshire Constabulary is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement within the ceremonial county of Cambridgeshire in the United Kingdom. In addition to the non-metropolitan county, the Police area includes the city of Peterborough, which became a unitary authority area in 1998. The Chief Constable is Nick Dean, who replaced Alec Wood in 2018. The Deputy Chief Constable Jane Gyford and the Assistant Chief Constable (Operations) is Dan Vajzovic. The force is divided into two area commands, since October 2017 of North and South each being commanded by a Superintendent. North consists of Fenland and Peterborough and South based on the areas of local district councils: Cambridge, East Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire and South Cambridgeshire. Previously, there were three divisions: Northern, Central and Southern, however these were abolished in 2012.
The force's headquarters is situated at Hinchingbrooke Park on the outskirts of Huntingdon. There is a centralised call centre for the county at Copse Court (opposite Thorpe Wood) in Peterborough.Christine Blower
Christine Blower (born 20 April 1951) was the eleventh General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, a trade union representing qualified teachers across England and Wales. In March 2018, she stood for election and was shortlisted for the position of the Labour Party's General Secretary. She is the Vice Chair of the pressure group Unite Against Fascism.Duncan Hallas
Duncan Hallas (23 December 1925 – 19 September 2002), was a prominent member of the Trotskyist movement and a leading member of the Socialist Workers Party in Great Britain.English Defence League
The English Defence League (EDL) is a far-right, Islamophobic organisation in the United Kingdom. A social movement and pressure group that employs street demonstrations as its main tactic, the EDL presents itself as a single-issue movement opposed to Islamism and Islamic extremism, although its rhetoric and actions target Islam and Muslims more widely. Founded in 2009, its heyday lasted until 2011, after which it entered a decline. It is presently chaired by Tim Ablitt.
Established in London, the EDL coalesced around several football hooligan firms protesting the public presence of the small Salafi Islamist group Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah in Luton, Bedfordshire. Tommy Robinson, a former member of the British National Party (BNP), soon became its de facto leader. The organisation grew swiftly, holding demonstrations across England and often clashing with anti-fascist protesters from Unite Against Fascism and other groups, who deemed it a racist organisation victimising British Muslims. The EDL also established a strong social media presence on Facebook and YouTube. Moving towards electoral politics, it established formal links with the far-right British Freedom Party, a breakaway from the BNP. The EDL's reputation was damaged in 2011 after supporters were convicted of plotting to bomb mosques and links were revealed with Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Breivik. In 2013 Robinson—supported by the Quilliam think tank—left the group; he claimed it had become too extreme, and established the rival Pegida UK. The group's membership declined significantly following Robinson's departure and various branches declared independence.
Ideologically on the extreme-right or far-right of British politics, the EDL is part of the international counter-jihad movement. Officially, it presents itself as being opposed to Islamism, Islamic extremism, and jihadism, although its rhetoric repeatedly conflates these with Islam and Muslims more broadly. Rejecting the idea that Muslims can truly be English, the EDL presents Islam as an intolerant, primitive threat seeking to take over Europe. Political scientists and other commentators have characterised this Islamophobic stance as culturally racist. Both online and at its events, EDL members have incited violence against Muslims, with supporters carrying out violent acts both at demonstrations and independently. The EDL's broader ideology features nationalism and populism, blaming a perceived decline in English culture on high immigration rates and an uncaring political elite. It distinguished itself from Britain's traditional far-right by rejecting biological racism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia. Although several of its leaders were previously involved in fascist organisations and some neo-Nazis and other fascists attended EDL events, commentators differ on whether the EDL itself is ideologically fascist or not.
Headed by a small leadership team, the EDL sub-divided into over 90 local and thematic divisions, each with considerable autonomy. Its support base consisted primarily of young, working-class white British men, some from established far-right and football hooligan subcultures. Polls indicated that most UK citizens opposed the EDL, and the group was repeatedly challenged by anti-fascist groups. Many local councils and police forces discouraged EDL marches, citing the high financial cost of policing them, the disruptive influence on community harmony, and the damage caused to counter-terrorism operations.Hugh Lanning
Hugh Lanning is a British pro-Palestinian activist and former trade union official. He was the Deputy General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), one of Britain's largest trade unions, until May 2013. He has been the Chairman of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) since 2009, and in 2013 was named a vice chair of the group Unite Against Fascism (UAF).
In the 2015 general election, Hugh was the Labour candidate for the Canterbury constituency, in Kent. Despite not winning the seat, he did increase the Labour vote share and came second in the election results.
Lanning has played a major role in persuading trade unions in Britain to declare solidarity with the Palestinians and to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement. During his tenure at PCS, Lanning was active in the effort to keep people he considered 'fascists' or 'racists' out of the union and out of union workplaces.
Lanning has given speeches at many labour and anti-racism rallies and has been a frequent contributor to the Morning Star, the daily newspaper of the Communist Party of Britain.Islamophobia Watch
Islamophobia Watch was a website which was initiated in January 2005 as a non-profit project to document material in the media, and in society at large, which it perceives to advocate Islamophobia.The website was set up by two non-Muslim socialists, Eddie Truman and Bob Pitt. Truman was at that time press officer for the Scottish Socialist Party group at the Scottish Parliament, and Pitt worked as a researcher in the office of the then Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.Jewish Council for Racial Equality
The Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE) is a Jewish organisation that works both inside and outside the Jewish community to provide a Jewish voice on race and asylum issues in the UK.
JCORE delivers race-equality education for all ages, provides practical action to support refugees and asylum seekers, promotes Black-Asian-Jewish dialogue, and campaigns at all levels on race and asylum issues.
It works with a number of other organisations to achieve this, including CCJO René Cassin, Hope not Hate, British Red Cross, Unite Against Fascism, The Baobab Centre for Young Survivors, The Children's Society, Freedom from Torture, The Refugee Council and the British Medical Association.Liberation Left
Liberation Left (formerly Student Broad Left or SBL) is a factional grouping operating within the National Union of Students of the United Kingdom.
The group was formed in 1997 as a split from the Campaign for Free Education (CFE) and first contested NUS elections in 1998. It is characterised by its vocal support for the NUS Liberation Campaigns, Palestinian rights and for free-to-student, state-funded education, and its loud opposition to racism, Islamophobia, fascism and war. The group describes itself as a "network of left activists campaigning for a progressive student movement", and has Labour, Respect, Green and independent members. Today, the group has members in Labour parliamentary candidacies and its National Executive Committee.Love Music Hate Racism
Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) is a music-oriented antiracism campaign based in Britain. The campaign aims to bring people together and promote unity through the power of music. LMHR was born in the tradition of the Rock Against Racism (RAR) movement of the late 1970s. The campaign held many successful festivals in the early 2000s such as a Victoria Park carnival and at Stoke Britannia Stadium, at which tens of thousands of people attended and international artists performed.It is closely associated with Unite Against Fascism (UAF)/Stand Up To Racism (SUTR), the successors of the Anti-Nazi League (ANL); ANL co-founder Paul Holborow described LMHR, UAF and SUTR as "stand[ing] in [the ANL's] tradition."Martin Smith (activist)
Martin James Smith (born October 1963) is a British political activist. He is a former National Secretary of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), a position he held from 2004 until January 2011. He left the SWP in 2013.Smith joined the SWP in the 1980s and eventually become a member of the Central Committee. He was involved in disrupting talks at Acas in May 2010 between British Airways and the Unite trade union which he defended on Channel 4 News. He has also been involved at a senior level in Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism. In September 2010, he was convicted of an assault on a police officer during the protest in October 2009 against British National Party leader Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time. He was sentenced to a 12-month community order.Smith is a former Director of Sherborne Publications Limited, the company that publishes the Socialist Worker, and of Love Music Hate Racism. At the National Conference in January 2011, he left the post of National Secretary in favour of Charlie Kimber, who remains in this position.
Smith has been named as "Comrade Delta", accused of sexual assualt and rape of women who were members of the SWP.Smith is currently a PhD student at Liverpool Hope University, supervised by Michael Lavalette and Stephen Kelly.National Assembly Against Racism
The National Assembly Against Racism (NAAR) was a British anti-racist and anti-fascist group.NAAR was a predominantly black-led national anti-racist grouping, formed after the acrimonious collapse of the Anti-Racist Alliance. It first met on 4 February 1995, when it launched the Anti-Racist Charter for the New Millennium, endorsed by Bill Morris of the Transport and General Workers Union and Labour MPs Diane Abbott and Keith Vaz.Lee Jasper, race relations adviser to Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, was NAAR's chair. Socialist Action played a key role within it. NAAR's student arm was Student Assembly Against Racism, organised in 1995.By 2003, its co-chairs were black Labour MP Diane Abbott and councillor Kumar Murshid, a close ally of Livingstone. It had active local groups in Birmingham, Coventry, Lewisham, Manchester and Sheffield.NAAR merged into the Socialist Workers Party (UK)-led Unite Against Fascism (UAF) in 2003, Jasper joining UAF's first steering committee and NAAR's Sabby Dhalu acting as joint secretary with SWP/ANL's Weyman Bennett.Redwatch
Redwatch is a British website associated with members of the far-right British People's Party. It publishes photographs of, and personal information about, alleged far left and anti-fascist activists. It typically targets activists in political parties, advocacy groups, trade unions and the media. The website's slogan is "Remember places, traitors' faces, they'll all pay for their crimes", a quote from neo-Nazi musician Ian Stuart Donaldson.
The information gathered by Redwatch is indexed by cities or regions. Many of the people listed are members of the Unite Against Fascism or other anti-racist or left-wing groups, such as the Socialist Party (England and Wales), the Socialist Party (Ireland), Sinn Féin, Social Democratic and Labour Party, Alliance for Workers' Liberty, Workers' Power (UK) and Socialist Workers Party (Britain). Some Labour Party, Liberal Democrat and Conservative members are also listed. Trade unionists, in particular teachers and journalists, figure prominently in the listings. There are dozens of photographs of anarchists and single-issue protesters.Stop Islamisation of Europe
Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE), also known as Stop the Islamification of Europe, is a group with the stated goal of "preventing Islam from becoming a dominant political force in Europe". It is a political interest group which has been active in Denmark and has conducted anti-Islamic protests in the United Kingdom. The group originated out of the joining of the Danish group Stop Islamisation of Denmark with English anti-Islam activists.The group says that its aim is to oppose Islamic extremism; they have the motto "Racism is the lowest form of human stupidity, but Islamophobia is the height of common sense".Thierry Schaffauser
Thierry Schaffauser is a French sex worker, social activist, writer, and actor.UAF
UAF may refer to:
Uganda Athletics Federation
Ukrainian Air Force
Ukrainian Armed Forces
Financial Intelligence Unit (Spanish: Unidad de Análisis Financiero), in Panama, Paraguay and other Latin-American countries
Unidirectional Air Flow
Union automobiliste de France, early 20th-century French auto club
French Airports Association (French: l'Union des Aéroports Français)
Unite Against Fascism, United Kingdom
Forest Managemenent Unit (French: Unité d′aménagement forestier), in Québec
United Arab Emirates Air Force, ICAO Code UAF
Universal Access Fund
Universal Authentication Framework
University Admissions Finland
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
University of Alaska Fairbanks, United States
Use After Free, a class of software vulnerability
User Action Framework, in psychology